Cabinet approves Bt33 bln in investment for development of 8 central provinces

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KANCHANABURI, May 20 – The mobile Cabinet meeting on Sunday approved a Bt33-billion investment for the development of eight lower central provinces, while supporting other development projects linked to Myanmar’s Dawei deep sea port.

Acting Government Spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard said the Cabinet approved investments into 200 projects in Thailand’s central region, of which 60 projects are ready to proceed.

The Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry was assigned to find channels to support farmers planting pomelo and other potential produce in the central provinces of Samutsongkram, Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom, Mr Anusorn said.

The Commerce Ministry was also assigned to closely monitor middlemen’s profits at no more than 50 percent at each distribution process after surveys discovered prices of fruits and vegetables in the market had been found marked up for 40-50 percent at each stage of distribution.

On a related matter, the Cabinet approved projects for economic development and future growth of the western province of Kanchanaburi bordering Myanmar, particularly to support the Dawei deep sea port project. Deputy Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong was assigned to be in charge of related projects, which are to commence in 2015. Trade and investments in the area is forecast to help Thailand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow by around 1.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Prevention bills were passed at the mobile meeting. Proposed drafts will be forwarded to the Council of State and Parliament for consideration and the processes are expected to be finished by year-end to assist the country’s business sector, as transactions in trade and investments with other countries became more difficult when Thailand was blacklisted by the USA’s Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF).

The next mobile Cabinet meeting was set for June 18-19 in the eastern province of Chonburi.